The limited-run play, “The Steadfast, ” which is on view at the TGB Theater in New York City through February 3, is based on a painting called “Legacy” by Steve Alpert. The painting depicts seven men and one woman in U.S. Army military uniforms from the Continental Army, the War of 1812, the Civil War (Union), the Spanish-American War, World Wars I and II, the Vietnam War and the present day.
The play—written by Mat Smart, directed by Wes Grantom, and co-produced by Alpert—travels rapidly through time to look at each of the eight soldiers and their eight wars.
“The stories are linked, sometimes by family—the descendant of a Buffalo Soldier becomes a Vietnam draft dodger walking toward Canada—but also by this thematic question: What does it take to decide to kill and risk your life for your country?” Jason Zinoman wrote in his favorable New York Times review of the play.
The play, Zinoman says, doesn’t “waste time trying to simulate fighting, does not glorify it. Nor is the play a harsh critique. Instead it is a celebration of soldiers that understands that their courage does not diminish or burnish those who decide not to fight.”
The TBG Theater is located at 312 West 36th Street in Manhattan.